Friday 11 July 2014

Weekly Wrap Up: Federer, Bouchard & Business

The past week has certainly been an eventful one for sports fans. Whilst football is still undeniably dominating the sports scene, many turned their attentions to the Wimbledon finals. This year’s Wimbledon men’s single final was certainly an exciting one for tennis lovers; 17 Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer was again competing in the finals against 27-year old Serbian player Novak Djokovic. The cheering at the venue clearly indicated that many more took side to support Federer. It was as if the crowds wished to see the legendary player winning one more Grand Slam title before his retirement, as opposed to the junior Djokovic with a long career ahead of him.

However, the women’s game was quite a different story, with 21-year old Eugenie Bouchard gaining much attention. The attention was hardly surprising as Bouchard possesses all the qualities to receive the likes of the media; she is exceptionally good looking and she entered the Wimbledon finals after having played in the Grand Slam major draws for just 14 months. The media has even been speculating about the birth of another Maria Sharapova, a woman who just ten years ago defeated Serena Williams at the age of seventeen, laying down her foundation of becoming one of the most discussed sports stars in history.

It is interesting to see how the media’s speculation about the world of technology very much resembles that of the world of sports. Leaders of the largest companies in history, including Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg and the Google brothers Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are still some of the most celebrated personalities in media history. To a certain extent, the popularity of their brands is very often built upon the company and the individual's success, with many die-hard fans caring more about the success of the company in question than with the actual products being sold.

On the other hand, startups are increasingly dominating the media. The success stories of companies who have blossomed out of nowhere are nowadays just as likely, if not more, to receive media attention than the more established companies with steady incomes and long-term customers. In the UK, titles such as “Silicon Roundabout” and “Tech City” have become everyday words for the business press.

This week, for example, Google’s venture funding arm announced that it is setting up a $100m investment fund in London to invest in tech companies in Europe. Despite being incredibly high risk, venture funds have become increasingly active, and this announcement demonstrates the confidence that Google has in the startups of the world. Google was suitable rewarded for its startup focus; the media praise of Google’s risk-taking and “supporting the underdog” was bountiful.

Looking back at the examples of Federer and Bouchard, it is very clear that the press’s favour cannot be predicted or pigeon-holed. Whilst journalists are intrigued and keen to report on the entrepreneurs, innovators and startups of the new world, there is still a great appreciation for the more traditional beasts that time has proven are successful and worthy of praise.

Having made a series of appointments in recent months, Cantor Fitzgerald Europe further boosted its team with the appointment of Eric Bourguignon as Director of Consumer and Retail for its corporate finance division. Meanwhile, Neil Cullum, Head of Banking at the Accountancy and Investment management group at Smith & Williamson is due to retire at the end of this month. He will be replaced by Peter Mitchell, former Chief Executive Officer at CAF Bank. Walker Crips Investment and Wealth management Group also recruited two Barclays Wealth veterans in the form of Steven Moss and Mark Entwistle; both will be stockbrokers.

“A business beast” – A well-established and substantial corporation, possible a business that is steeped in history and tradition.

Missing the adrenaline rush of the annual school sports day’s ‘egg and spoon’ race? Not to fear. Head to Bedford Square for The Chap Olympiad where dapper attire is a must and you can take part in events such as breadbasket ball, passing the port, umbrella jousting, bakewell battles and that old favourite; The Tug Of Hair Competition.

If you are in need of some pre-game sustenance, then we suggest spending your Sunday lunch time at The Truscott Arms in Maida Vale. This Victorian pub not only does a mean Yorkshire Pudding, but they offer a whole Gluten Free roast!

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